Monday, January 13, 2014

Senator Brown Holds Press Conference on Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act

On Monday, January 13, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) held a press conference at the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, on his legislation, the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act (S. 569), which would allow for the time patients spend in the hospital under “observation status” to count toward the requisite three-day hospital stay for coverage of skilled nursing care. Michael Coury, Chief Operating Officer of Generations HealthCare Management and President of the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA), attended this important event on behalf of OHCA and AHCA/NCAL. Joining Senator Brown on stage to discuss the importance of passing this legislation was June Gold, an 84 year-old from Cuyahoga County who suffered a severe gash in her leg after her wheelchair scooter malfunctioned and tipped over. While at the hospital for five days, Gold received a transfusion for extreme blood loss and 20 staples in her leg. But because she remained under “observation status” during her hospital stay, doctors told her that her therapy (or post-acute stay) would not be covered by Medicare. The Senator was also joined by Dr. James Campbell, the Director of Geriatric Health at Cleveland MetroHealth and a Professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; and Richard Schwalberg, the Administrator of Cleveland’s Menorah Park, which provides skilled nursing care to seniors. 

AHCA/NCAL and several other provider and beneficiary groups have endorsed the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act. For more information about observation stays and the three-day stay requirement, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

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